08 Aug 14. Russia to begin Ratnik system procurement in October. The Russian Ministry of Defence (MoD) is planning to acquire Ratnik, a locally manufactured future high-tech soldier system, in October. Russian Ground Forces military and scientific department head Aleksander Romanyuta was quoted by RIA Novosti as saying: “Ratnik is currently undergoing its final tests and we hope that … all the components will be purchased in series and supplied to the troops. “The Ratnik infantry soldier kit comprises more than 40 components.” “If any deficiencies are found, they will be eliminated during the first year of exploitation.” Tochmash head Dmitry Semizorov told the news agency that the MoD plans to acquire up to 50,000 Ratnik sets every year, enabling the industry to provide the army with 70% of the new equipment. Tochmash has also started production a new combat gear, which is scheduled to replace Ratnik in the future, Semizorov added. Developed as part of the soldier military equipment (BES) programme, the Ratnik infantry soldier kit comprises more than 40 components, including firearms, body armour, optic, communication and navigation devices, life support and power supply systems, as well as knee and elbow pads. Available in summer and winter variants, the lightweight gear can be used by regular infantry, rocket launcher operators, machine gunners and drivers and scouts, and is claimed to provide protection against environmental threats from weapons of mass destruction and non-lethal weapons. The system has been successfully tested by the Russian Army, but its induction has been postponed due to problems in the fine-tuning of its light weapons, likely to be the new Kalashnikov AK-12 assault rifle, RIA Novosti reported. Multiple soldier equipment programmes are currently underway in several countries worldwide, including the US’ Land Warrior, Germany’s Infanterist der Zukunft (IdZ), and the UK’s future infantry soldier technology (FIST). Other countries developing such systems include Spain with Combatiente Futuro (ComFut), Sweden’s IMESS and France’s Fantassin à Équipement et Liaisons Intégré (FELIN). (Source: army-technology.com)
07 Aug 14. Poland to develop Pirat anti-tank guided missile. The Polish firm Mesko has started development of a new short-range laser-guided anti-tank guided missile (ATGM) system known as Pirat. The first firing of the new missile is planned for mid-2015, while serial production may begin in 2017 or 2018. On 17 July the Ministry of the Treasury decided to recapitalise Mesko with PLN47m (USD15m) to support the development of the Pirat ATGM and a National Rocket Fuel Centre facility. The development is linked with Polish Armed Forces plans to introduce a new, simpler, and cheaper ATGM system with a 2.5 km range for dismounted infantry and medium unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). (Source: IHS Jane’s)
13 Aug 14. Bahrain orders latest Kornet ATGW. Bahrain will be the first user of the Kornet-EM anti-tank guided weapon (ATGW) system, the ITAR-TASS news agency cited Anatoly Isaykin, the director general of the Russian arms export agency Rosoboronexport, as saying on 12 August.
The Kornet-EM is a vehicle-mounted system with two retractable launchers, each with four laser-guided, fire-and-forget missiles and its own optronic and guidance package. This means the system can simultaneously engage two targets. The promoters of the system say this also means the system can destroy a vehicle fitted with an active protection system by firing two missiles at it. They claim its accuracy is five times better than that of earlier Kornet versions due to the use of an automatic target tracker. The range is also significantly longer than earlier versions: 10 km when firing a missile with a thermobaric warhead and 8 km when firing one with tandem high-explosive anti-tank warheads. Isaykin said Bahrain’s Kornet-EM order was one of “a number of major arms contracts with the Middle East and North Africa … they includ